Technology Grant Brings iPads for Children to Yukon Library
New technology has arrived at the Mabel C. Fry Public Library for children to enjoy. The library recently installed five new iPads the children’s area with money they received from the Edge Technology Grant awarded by the Oklahoma Department of Libraries.
In conjunction with the money from the grant, educational applications and security hardware were funded with money received from the Canadian County Educational Facilities Authority. The iPads do not have access to the internet; instead, they feature curated educational and age-appropriate apps.
The iPads have already proven themselves popular, with 168 hours of usage in the first week. During a bustling storytime morning, all five stations where filled with children playing with games such as Pet Doctor and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
“It’s so great that the library has these [iPads] for the kids,” said Ashly Kocher, a mother attending storytime with her children. “Back in my day, the library only had Oregon Trail. This is so much better!”
The library currently has two AWE early literacy computer stations for preschool patrons. These popular computers cannot access the internet; however, they are preloaded with various educational and entertaining software ranging from reading to science and beyond. Last year there were 46,976 sessions between the two computers. Based on this usage the iPads were purchased to allow more children the opportunity to interact with technology.
“These usage numbers showed us the need for additional options to allow local youth to upgrade their technology skills,” said Sara Schieman, Librarian.
Also with the Edge Technology Grant funds, the library purchased accessibility software, a large print keyboard, and a marble mouse for those with dexterity issues to convert one of the public access computers into a station that is more user friendly for patrons with physical impairments. An additional AWE computer filled with elementary level educational games was also purchased to expand what is currently offered in the children’s area.
Edge Technology Grants are funded through the Oklahoma Department of Libraries with funds from the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), a Federal source of library funding provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Mabel C. Fry Public Library received nearly $5000. Eligibility was contingent on libraries participation in the Edge program.
Edge is a management and leadership toolkit designed to help public libraries better serve their communities through improved public access technology services. Edge is based on a national set of benchmarks created so that public libraries can evaluate and develop their technology services. Edge assists libraries with strategic planning and community engagement through a toolkit that provides an assessment, resources, recommendations, action plan model, training, and tools for information distribution, all based on the Edge benchmarks. Edge helps libraries evaluate and improve digital access and services in four critical areas: workforce development, e-government, education, and health.
The Edge Grant has allowed the library to continue to offer the latest technology and educational resources in ever increasingly digital world. Patrons of all ages and abilities will benefit from these added resources. Library staff members are available to provide instruction or tutorials on these latest offerings.
Mabel C. Fry Public Library is one of Yukon’s best departments. Optimism, energy and opportunity inspire the best in everything we do. To learn more about Yukon’s best, visit www.yukonok.gov or call 405-354-8232.